This is the fourth movie in a long-running series. With few exceptions, that is usually when a series falls apart (think Jaws 4, Superman 4, Batman & Robin). 'Salvation' works mainly because of a good cast and solid pacing, with some nice effects thrown in. As a summer action movie, it does its job to entertain. But it's still a far cry from "Judgment Day" and even a bit short from the original. It pairs up about evenly with 'Rise of the Machines," however.
The film had some great acting, and some awe-inspiring cinematography. And yes, I loved all the action scenes. However, there was no real substance to the plot; instead, we get typical Hollywood quasi-intelligent cliched conversations that try to sound deep and meaningful. Needless to say, it ends up being cheesy. Another problem I had with the movie was it's PG-13 rating. Hollywood insists on making money; to their credit, they do it well. But to take an R-rated franchise and dull it down to a PG-13 is just obnoxious. They did the same thing to the Die Hard movies (Live Free or Die Hard's unrated version was SO much better than the theatrical one). It's not that I love blood and f-bombs, it's that it makes the movie feel more like it's predecessors.
Bottom line: while obviously not being anywhere near as good as the first two due to some script flaws and it's weak rating, Terminator Salvation still managed to entertain with it's loud and exciting action. Plus, it was better than the Rise of the Machines.
Disappointing to say the least. The movie is a one note bore until late the film. The dialogue is atrocious. Slipping in the "I'll be back" line was as forced a line as I've ever seen. In fact, it drew an audible groan from the crowd I saw it with. Leaps in logic and rather mundane action drop this film to the bottom of the barrel in terms of summer blockbuster material. I honestly can't think of one thing the director did right. Shooting this one note crapfest through panty-hose to give it a grainy feel may have seemed like an artistic touch but all it did was add to the unsavory feel and genuine disappointment this movie will generate.
Salvation is pretty good as a post-apocalyptic war movie with spectacular visual effects, but as a Terminator movie, it has a completely different vibe from the other three. I went in expecting something less than T1 and T2, and thus was not really disappointed. Salvation is probably almost as good as T3 (which I happen to like), but it almost feels like it's in a completely different genre. You have men fighting against all manner of machines, and the Terminators themselves are almost incidental, at least until the finale. Anton Yelchin is great as a young Kyle Reese and, as Marcus Wright, Sam Worthington completely steals the movie away from Christian Bale. I would likely watch it again, but this is definitely a different kind of Terminator movie.